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Lessons Learned

  • It is important not only to mention your group’s progress during communications with your site supervisor, but also to ask them about the status of things on their end as well. This can stimulate discussion and can be a preventive approach to handling potential challenges. It can also strengthen two-way communication and support partnership-building.
  • Always keep the priorities of your site in mind when deciding how much time to spend on something and know when to quit.  For example, just because you spend three hours installing different drivers, software, and troubleshooting potential problems for a printer, you might be better off just getting a different printer even if it really, really seems like it could start working soon.
  • Installing hardware is *usually* faster and more fun than installing software.
  • Project planning requires organization, communication, collaboration, dedication, timeliness, and patience. When all of these elements are in place, you have to let go somewhat and trust the process.
  • It is always good to be thinking of contingency plans in case something doesn’t work out. In our initial report, we laid out “Potential Risks That Might Hinder Fully Accomplishing the Plan”. Though we did ask our site supervisor to review this document, we did not consider the potential risks from their end; i.e., no electricity. You can’t assume that your organization has all the resources they need to fulfill their obligations to the project.
  • Setting up a computer lab is a lot of work, but its doable if you put in the the time and effort.